FiiO is well-known as a manufacturer of headphone DACs. The FiiO R7 is their first desktop product, to be used as a digital hub for a music system. Can this player live up to the expectations?
The FiiO R7 is Android-based, with added software and tweaks from FiiO to make it a full-fledged preamplifier, streamer and DAC. The back of the player shows many different connections: RCA and XLR analogue out, SPDIF coax and TOSLink in and also USB in. Furthermore, this desktop player also has SPDIF coax and TOSLink out.
There is a USB connection for a keyboard. Not a bad idea, as entering long passwords on the front touchscreen is cumbersome.
The player has bluetooth, WiFi and an Ethernet connectivity. Airplay and Roon Ready are present too. On the front there are no less than three different headphone connections.
Using the FiiO R7
In what ways can you use the R7?
- As a regular streamer with DAC in a HiFi set.
- As a desktop headphone amplifier and DAC, independently or attached to a computer.
- As a streamer with DAC and preamplifier for powered speakers.
The lower front dial determines how you use the R7: line out with fixed output volume, headphones only, pre out with variable output volume and a combination of headphones and pre out. The latter option allows the R7 to work as a complete desktop solution, with powered speakers and headphones.
Do not underestimate the qualities of this player. In the livestream the R7 demonstrated that it keeps up with other streamers with DAC in this price range.